army ranger sergeant wounded by a roadside bomb in 2010. take a listen. [applause] >> that ovation went on for quite some time. "techknow" is next. about innovations that will change laughs. we'll look at hardware. this is a show about science by scin histories. kyle hill is an engineer, and he's investigating head-to-head combat and cutting edge technology that can help to detect a concussion before it's too late. >> lindsay moran is an ex-c.i.a. operative. she was packaging that can one day replace
polysterene. rachelle oldmixon specialises in behaviours. i'm phil torres, i study insects in peru. that's our team. let's do some science. ♪ music ] >> hi, guy, welcome back to "techknow." i'm phil torres, with rochelle, kyle and lindsay. kyle, the nfl paid over three-quarters of a million to settle a lawsuit. what was it about. >> there's a focus on the concussion problem. the nfl has thousands of place, and millions of players in youth and challenge football. i went to virginia tech to look
at technology to test helmets and track hits on college and youth players. let's take a look. . homecoming in the heartland. this is cornhusker county. nebraska university, the epicentre of college football. >> first big win. >> along with the tradition of football - come the hits. cheer cheer >> big hits like this one in front of our cameras. no one knows how hard the hits can be better than blake lawrence. former lion backer for nebraska korn huhs kerrs. >> if -- korn huhs kerrs. if you had to bang your head into somebody and that was your job, that's your best weapon.
if they said, "go and run and smash into the wall", i would do it for the sport. >> blake did it all his life. he started to question it after suffering three concussions. >> the third, which is the one where i realised something was wrong, was here. it was, "oh", and you start to get dizzy. >> dizzy, foggy. >> yes. were. >> what's crazy is the coach came up and said, "great job", i did my job and had to sacrifices my brain to do it. >> when a player gets a concussion blow, the brain moves rapidly, the brain bouncing around in the skull. the nfl reports 50 players have been sidelined by concussions. for young place, multiple it by
1,000. each year more than 55,000 kids end up in the emergency room for football-related concussions. local news coverage of catastrophic head injuresies have ramped up. >> the high school player collapsed during football practice and died. >> football tragedy bringing together a small down, early. >> what hits will land a player in the hospital? rather than the end zone. how do you reduce a players' risk of concussion? stefan, dumer head of virginia tech's biomedical department has been much. >> the mission is not to end football, but understand what is better.
research? >> we can tell a college player, what exposure you have, if you are a quarterbacker, lion backer - we can tell you what the exposure is. >> that impact simulated 100 gs of slartion on the -- acceleration on the brain. is. >> that's the kind of force you may experience in a serious car crash. so right here on this diagram you can see the impacts that players are taking. >> this is how professor dumer collects his detat with hits, he picks up the angle and acceleration of the head any time a
player is hit. >> so the system is showing real-time impacts? >> basically within a couple of seconds of the impact it comes into the antenna and we can see live what happens to the players. >> you can plot this out through a practice or on entire season. >> we were one of the first teams to limit exposure and practices. we had data saying we are getting really high exposure and practice. the data allowed us to see that. >> in 2011 virginia tech teamed up with youth leagues to research young players as well. >> i don't think anyone expected the exposure numbers that we found. from the first grade to seven, 78-year-old teams, the average impacts is 150 per season per player, some 80 times the acceleration
of gravity. again? >> 10-year-old ryan is a young player virginia tech is studying. he suffered a head injury in a running deal. dr mark rogers, a team physician for the hoekies is giving a follow up exam. >> eight to 10-year-olds are getting a lot of hits, some pretty good g-force. gs. >> it's dangerous. >> it's high. a lot of stuff generates changes. they are not doing a lot of head to head contacts or hitting drills during the week. the fact that he may have had a concussion - does to give you reservations about football. >> when your children get injured it makes you think. as long as you have programs like this, where people are trying to help and making sure the kids stay as safe as approximately.
i wouldn't hesitate putting the play. that would be his decision. >> professor dumis is trying to make the game safer. create safer helmets. >> front, side, back, top impacts. for every test we multiply that by how many times the players sees that in a year. everything comes together, giving you a star rating. the helmets absorb energy better, lower acceleration, lowering risk. >> you have what looks like a helmet canon. what is this modelling different from the other test? >> we are going away from the single linear drop. we know every head impact has linear rotation. you have energy input. this task - the head can rotate and slide away. >>
three, two, one, go. >> remember this 100 g hit? professor dumis has a 5-star helmet reducing it bias much as 50%, that's because the shell riskful. >> there are helmets that reduce your risk. like 5-star cars reduce your risk of dying in a car crash. >> as for blake lawrence, the risks of the game that he had, decision. >> our head coach said, "your concussions are happening too easily. that summer, before my junior ner at nebraska, i told myself and my family and the coaches
and doctors if i had one more concussion, no matter the circumstances, i'd step away from the sport of football. it was easy to say, not do. >> looking at that peerks watching it, i -- piece, just watching it, i feel that gave me a head ache. >> rachelle, you have a background in neuroscience, what damage are we looking at with a big collision? >> that's interesting. there are thousands of researchers across the country trying to figure it out. some believe there's sheering happening at the ends of neuropathways so the connections between the different parts of the brain are weaker. peopler thinking that you get tears in the tissue which would weaken the structure and function. there's the idea of bruising and temporary damage through swelling. there's a lot. >> there's a lot. >> yes. and a lot of it is temporary. but some of it, you
know, could be serious. >> i want my kids to watch. my 8-year-old want to play football. it's huge. i've been trying to explain to him the danger involved. as a mum it's hard for me to watch the shots of the impact. >> what will we see next? i imagine it's an interesting hat that you are putting on. >> next i put on what i deemed the science acto pus to look at -- octopus to look at my brain waves and get a look at the root of what a concussion looks like. >> we want to hear what you think about the stories. join the conversation by following us on twitter and next time on the stream. >> in the last five years 80,000 refugees came to the us from myanmar. why the number is so large and how they're impacting local communities. the congress to hopefully shed
line on immigration reform as a path to citizenship. for the center of american progress, he's in washington d.c. this morning. and good morning, mr. fietz. >> good morning, del. >> are you confident that this year immigration reform passes and are you sure why it pass it's. >> i'm confident that the president will be talking about the importance of find of bipartisan agreement with this congress, and this is obviously the issue that seems more teed up to have the senate has passed a bill by a bipartisan super majority and now it's up to the house to pass it. and we know that the pass republican conference is meeting in a retreat this week, and one of the things they will be discussing is how to move forward on immigration reform. primetime news. >> welcome to al jazeera
america. >> stories that impact the world, affect the nation and touch your life. >> i'm back. i'm not going anywhere this time. >> only on al jazeera america. [ ♪ music ] >> hi. welcome back. kyle, we are about to get more indepth on the concussion piece. what do you have next for us? >> now we'll look at what happens neurologically. i put on 266 censors on my head and took a hard test to determine it. let's take a look. it's game day at memorial stadium, the huskers are taking on illinois. this stadium house is more than 90,000 plus fans, it's home to a
concussion. >> we have cutting-edge techniques in the facility where the athletes are training. >> dennis is the director of the new center for brain, biology and behaviour. >> why is it hard to figure out what a cop kugs is? >> now it's scribed in terms of -- described in terms of simply torches head ache. sleep, memory functions. we are unable to identify what the disruption is. >> i want to put the towel on the neck. >> this tap, a denser ray inselfa la gram or dee is a piece of technology used to unlock the mysteries. >> i'll call this the science acto pus. >> the cap has 256 electrodes in it picking up on currents going over the scalp that are
generated from the brain. the brain waves have information about your memory processies, decision making, speed of processing, what different areas are engaged to do anything. >> a bit more wetness than i thought. >> huss kerrs who volunteer to be a part of ramp undergo an eet while doing a memory test. this one - i have to identify which letters in a sequence match one two shots earlier. >> when it matches use button number one, when it doesn't, press four. >> they are going fast. >> we think the cap is a critical way of assessing whether a concussion occurred. >> you are also using brain
scans and other technologies. >> we can collect mri data, other data, mri gives us information about structure of the brain and we can look at way. >> the images are from a football player without a concussion, and show changes in brainwave activity as a player distinguishes between a match and non-match. look at the player who had a concussion. there's no change. >> they are virtually identifiable. >> why is that? >> the brain hasn't figured out that this number is identical to that. at a minimum it's delayed. these are people experiencing a head injury previously. they may have had this for a year. after a year... >> you have a lingering effect. >> the brain is not processing it when it should have. >> luckily my test showed a regular change in brain
activity. >> your brain response is what individual. >> that's good. >> we can give you a certification on this. >> a little form saying i'm not concuesed. >> when you see the application, is it to have something like a neural eeg on the sidelines that can help players in real time? >> very much so. the hold-up right now is getting the analysis procedures down to a point where practical, where we can tell the coach, "this person clearly has a concussion, they should not go back into the game." >> would a player an idea with technology like this, when to stop playing? >> ultimately that's the hope, that we can provide the players and coaches with information that can tell them, "okay, you're at a danger point, don't
do this." >> blake lawrence didn't have the benefit of a diagnostic tool concussion. >> i spent an hour on the field by myself thinking, "shall i tell anyone, shall i not." i've always been a football player. after practice i walked past the trainers' door, like you would in a film, stopped, backpedalled and walked in and said, "i'm done", i've suffered a concussion, my career is over. i was emotional wreck >> would you say that you regret your decision? >> i don't regret leaving football. i don't regret protecting myself. i wanted to see a long future of health and happy innocence. i couldn't risk -- happiness. i couldn't risk that. >> blake is an entrepreneur
running two businesses, something he probably wouldn't have done if he got another concussion. he educates families about the risk of playing football. >> football is a game. if i could talk to every kid putting on their helmet, "this is a game. this is life. this is life. this is what i experience because i stepped away from football." >> sure. >> imagine if i didn't - why would i sacrifices my life for a game. >> i don't think there's going be a concussion helmet. you can think of this like a car crash. if you were the brain and the car is your skull. doesn't matter if the car is indesinstructible you, the brain, will still fly forward and hit the windshield. that's the concussion - the brain hitting the skull. differently. >> it can be applied to soldiers, i am sure a lot of
them get hits as well. >> the labs i went to were working with darpa, the department of defense, because when you undergo a grenade blast or something like that there's a shock wave that moves your brain like an nfl hit would. >> you went upstate new york and covered a story that was different. what was it. >> i went and met two fun guys. two former students who are using mushrooms to make this revolutionary packaging material. >> we'll check out that story when we come back. >> every sunday night, al jazeera america brings you conversations you won't find anywhere else... >> your'e listening because you wanna see what happen... >> get your damn education... >> talk to al jazeera only on al jazeera america >> oh my...
>> yes, i went to two guys who had a company and figured out a way to make an alternative packaging material out of biodegradeable materials and mushrooms. let's check it out. >> every cubic inch of the soil is teaming with millions of inches of mycilian. >> a walk through the woods in green island new york is pleasure. when you are with two barely 30-year-old geniuses like gavin mcintyre and evan bair, you are sure to stumble on something scientifically complex. >> you see the mycilion growing into the log.
>> somehow it involves a mushroom. >> we are here at incoe baitive design, i'm a cofounder and scientist at this biomaterial company, where we take local farm waste, mixing it with tissue from mushrooms and growing replacements for plastic used in protective packaging. >> why is it important? what is the problem with polysterene. >> there's packaging, building constructive, tenses of millions of dollars worth used. they are not compatible with the earth's atmosphere. >> we have all seen this. every big product is packaged in this material. these are made from unsustainable petrochemicals and can take up to a hundred years -
maybe more - to biodegrade and leave the other. we use agricultural waste, like corn husks as a resin. we combine them, we grow it in a mould to make a shape from everything from packaging. >> a mushroom growing out of a tree is comprise the by mycilian. if you look you you find fibres that are growing through the soil of the environment and in trees. that's gluing the mushrooms on to the side of the tree or the forest floor. mushrooms. >> we never grow mushrooms, we keep the mycilian in a vegetative stage. the concept was when i saw mysilian growing through wood ships, keeping them together. using waste didn't happen until
i teamed up with gavin. >> it takes seven days for a product to be grown. we are about to show you how it works in seconds. >> what is this. >> the waste is cleaned, light before adding the mycel. >> um. it's ipp cubated and it becomes a solid white mass. next it goes through a tromell, a machine that grind the waste. >> this is reminding me of willie wonga and the chocolate factory and i'm afraid i'll be sucked up. >> this is mulched and stacked into moulds. the mycelian does what it does - gross. all that is left is to paying it at a low temperature of 200 to growth. >> freshly based funk us. so it can be sold to corporations like dell computers and other fortune 500 companies.
>> here is what is cool. i can take the material, bury it in my yard and within a couple of months it will biodegrade and add nutrients to the sail. >> echo veil is about to manufacture plastic-free products. the possibilityies go behind protective packaging, and they are developing home insulation. >> do you guys feel you are having an impact on humanity? >> we see it looking forward senturies, we want to make sure the environment is available for our grandchildren and our grandchildren's children. we are taking best use of the natural resources today. >> what else are they thinking of using it for? >> they have an edisonian approach and have launched the world's first mushroom surfboards. these are going be surfboards
and instead of having a core made out of petros chemical, it material. >> i love this piece. i had no idea that mushrooms could do so much for us. >> who knew? >> who knoou. amazing stories, thank you for coming. "techknow." >> dive deep into these stories and go behind the scenes at aljazeera.com/techno. >> this is al jazeera america. live from new york city. i'm tony harris with a look at today's top stories. a snow and ice storm hit the south hard. we're talking about children forced to spend the night in schools when buses weren't able to reach them.
highways were turned into parking lots as people attempted to get home after work in the middle of the storm. some people were stuck in their cars for over 14 hours. the governor has called in the national guard to assist. president obama is hitting several states selling his state of the union message. this morning he was in maryland touring a costco store. right now he is at an u.s. steel plant in pennsylvania, a town that reinvented itself after an economic bust 30 years ago. he's touting some of the plans he unveiled last night. an ugly day on wall street as investors fret about the emerging markets, and 196 points. stocks not even getting a boost from the federal reserve saying that the economy was strong enough for another bond buying stimulus program. using the gee me hav genevat
to outline its negotiations, but the opposition is asking for bashar al-assad to step down. mystery man martin cruz smith is next. . >> i did not want to be a writer with parkinson's, i just wanted to be a writer. >> for 18 years novelist martin cruz smith did had a secret. a disease was attacking his brain, affecting his writing. >> i have wires in my head. >> with his wife emily and technology